Due to various factors such as Covid, Brexit and the cost of living crisis, the music industry is in more trouble than ever and is affecting every part of the sector, from artists trying to shoot to venues struggling to to survive. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen this illustrated in a series of news stories.
Touring musicians have canceled their international shows, including recent Mercury Prize winner Little Simz who had huge success with her album Sometimes I Could Be Introverted. In April, she announced she could not tour the United States, releasing a statement outlining the financial cost the tour places on independent artists.
Before Brexit and Covid, it was much easier for independent musicians to travel the world and share their music with new audiences. Recently it was announced that Animal Collective would not be able to travel to the UK, with one of the biggest independent music groups unable to do so, highlighting the costs at which musicians in tour are currently facing.
It’s not just financial stability that affects touring musicians either, post-covid touring has been relentless with countless musicians hitting the road again as often as possible and it has often not been sustainable. Yard Act, Arlo Parks, Sam Fender and Wet Leg have all canceled tour dates this year and attributed it to mental health or burnout.
Often, musicians try to make do so that they don’t miss out on any income, but it pushes them to the breaking point. In a time when the artists we love are struggling enough, some venues are taking up to 25% of merchandise profits, further restricting the financial viability of touring.
Being the area where artists make the most money on the road, The Big Moon recently decided to sell products in a local pub rather than a venue in order to make a profit while maintaining lower prices for fans. . We have the impression that the opportunities to dance are becoming increasingly rare.
Earlier this year, the NTIA (Night Time Industries Association) reported that one in five nightclubs in the UK had closed since the pandemic. They now face the cost of living crisis in a world of uncertainty, with rising energy prices taking effect. There has been little information on exactly how the sites will stay afloat amid astronomically rising bills.
It took a long time for financial help to arrive during the pandemic. In the capital, clubs such as Bethnal Green’s Space 289 have been closed due to excessive rents and even the future of Printworks is in dispute as the infamous club has been approved for use as offices, but talks are underway to try to save clubbing space.
So how do we try to save these sacred spaces that are essential to our culture and play a huge role in our livelihoods? Well, the Music Venue Trust runs a scheme called Own Our Venues which seeks to buy out the freehold properties of venues across the UK and let them out at a much cheaper rate.
The most effective way to save seats is to buy tickets for your favorite parties and the same goes for the artists you love. If your local venue is in danger of closing, go ahead, resist and let them know how valuable they are to your community. We cannot allow dance floors to be destroyed, we must pressure the government to provide more support for our cultural institutions and our musicians.
Check out our What’s On guide for even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head over to our Things to Do page or get inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.